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The hiring landscape has changed.  Hiring authorities have 2 choices: to get lost in the over-growth of the landscape or to find and create tools to help navigate the most difficult landscape in modern history.  What changed?

  • Quality of Life is not only important, but also vital.

“I would rather live in my car and make less money than to work 60 hours per week”  

This is a direct quote from a candidate.  Whether it is that millennials are entering the workforce, or that the general population understands the importance of quality time with friends and family, this is becoming of most import to candidates.  The general state of our world has vastly affected candidates and concepts that provide quality of life, are the concepts that are landing the best talent.  Some concepts have moved to 40 or 45-hour work weeks and running with an additional manager; these are the concepts that are getting the managers that you want.

  • A Flood Of New Concepts In The Same Geographical Area

This is well documented in respected media outlets like Nations Restaurant News.  New, more relevant concepts are flooding the marketplace in the exact geographical areas that our clients are looking for managers.  It is important to focus on stability in the marketplace versus new concepts that come into the marketplace, do well for a while, and then fail.  Concepts that have long-term, proven success track records can land the best candidates; but it is important to build that relationship with candidates carefully navigating the landmines that are new concepts (some that will be around for the long-haul) flooding the marketplace.

  • Counter Offers From Current Employers

Because the vast majority of our candidates are already working, this is, by far, the most difficult hurdle to over come.  If you work with a search firm like ours, it is important that you partner with an agency that understands this issue early in the process.  We over come this issue by addressing it early on in the process.  Candidates appreciate transparency and if you ask them for the same, they will often give it to you.  It is important to build a relationship with candidates–a relationship that is built around trust and respect.  If they feel like you are an advocate for THEM and NOT your concept, then you will often land that candidate.  When people know that you care about them, you would be amazed at the response you will get.

  • Candidate’s Failing To Communicate

This seems to be more common than ever.  Because our candidates have jobs, they are working and it is difficult to get them on the phone.  This is frustrating.  Some hiring authorities remember the days of no cell phones and the only mode of communication was home phones but more often answering machines.  Now that candidates have computers in their pockets, the level of difficulty in reaching them seems just as frustrating.  It is important to partner with a company that has systems in place that reaches the candidate.  Agencies that have 12-18 hour coverage are the agencies that will reach the candidate for you.  We utilize non-conventional methods of reaching candidates; methods that candidates appreciate and respond to in a positive way.  The fact of the matter is that most hiring authorities do not have time to chase candidates.  Those of you who have been in this field for a fair amount of time are tempted to give up on candidates if they do not return your phone call.  It is important that you understand that this mode of thinking will not yield the best hires, or in some cases, any hires at all.  You must be willing to think outside the box and give candidate’s latitude that 10 years ago we never would have dreamt giving them.

  • Candidate Loyalty Is At An All Time Low, Resources For Them To Find New Job Is At An All Time High

A simple perusing of websites like Indeed or Career Builder will almost always yield the name of one of your managers.  Candidates are keeping their resumes online in search of the “next great thing”.  This is a frustration among hiring authorities because there isn’t much interaction (if any) with a hired candidate after start date.  It is important for hiring authorities to work for an organization where managers are respected, and well treated.  A recent study that spanned all businesses demonstrated that employees value respect in the work place over any other in the workplace.  As a recruiting firm, we find that his is the number one reason candidates want to leave their current workplace.  As a respected hiring authority, try to align yourself with an organization that places value on respecting employees and understand that the front lines in the war of in keeping the talent you found them starts the same day the candidate is employed with your organization.

The bottom line is that this race goes to the hiring authorities that refuse to give up on the process.  One thing that has not changed is candidates that are still working are the best candidates.  While they can also be the most frustrating candidates, our statistics prove that they are the candidates that stay longer and make the most impact.  It is important to partner with a company that understands the importance of building relationships with not only candidates, but also you, as the hiring authority.  It is important to align yourself with an outside source that understands that it is not about the fee.  That agency must care about the candidate and be willing to tell them if their client is not a good fit for them, even at the offer stage. This is difficult for agencies because it requires an inordinate amount of time; time that most agencies do not have nor can they afford.  It is also important to align yourself with an agency that doesn’t use techniques that you can use.  It is vitally important that you align yourself with an organization that only sends the candidate to you; not you and your competitors.

If my 23 years in this industry has taught me anything, it has taught me that our investment in both our candidates and clients is paramount.  Oftentimes, we can’t afford the time necessary to invest in relationships either, yet somehow this investment in people keeps the doors open.

Most hiring authorities (or their companies) maintain that they cannot afford an agency; yet stores are not producing and managers are unhappy therefore, top talent works for your competitors.  If you are going to stand above the rest in this rapidly changing environment, you must be willing to understand these challenges; change your mindset and be unconventional; swallow a lot of pride and stay with the candidate; take care of the managers that you have and consider outside help for saturated markets.

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2 thoughts on “Hiring Difficulty Is At An All Time High, Why?

  1. Amy…I have been in the hospitality arena for a while…Have seen restaurant companies come and go…Managers have long been abused by operators because we are exempt…working 55+ hours is the norm because we accept it and always have…concepts continue to take salary, benefits away from managers because they can’t manage their operation or the debt that comes with it…corporations have mutiple concepts when they cant’t even run a single concept..With sites like zip recruiter that uses the funnel approach to filling management positions many good candidates get overlooked because of stupid algorithms..no wonder no one wants to work in the restaurant business any more!!

    • All of what you said is so true. I am not a fan of any online job boards. I’m more interested in people. After doing this for 23 years, I get to pick my clients. Right now I have three that are $40-45 hrs a week. In terms of benefits, that is above my pay grade. I do know that it has become increasingly difficult for companies to afford benefits.

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